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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > Obtaining Divorce Papers and Starting the Process: Part 2

Obtaining Divorce Papers and Starting the Process: Part 2


In part one of this two-part series, we went over the steps to beginning the divorce process in California and obtaining the required forms. This article will guide readers through the essential elements of where and how to file the divorce papers, and some things to expect in the following weeks.

Filing Divorce Papers: Where and How

You should file your divorce papers in the Superior court in the county that either yourself, or your spouse, resides in. The concept of jurisdiction can be complex and is further explained in other articles in this blog. You should be aware that there is a filing fee – you can check the court’s website beforehand to ensure you know what to expect.

What to Expect After the Filing

The court will assign your divorce a case number and you will be assigned to a judge. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also be required to attend a court hearing. This will largely revolve around the complexity of your case and any unresolved issues. Divorces that are more acrimonious are more likely to go through court hearings. However, couples who are able to settle the terms of their divorce outside of court can often avoid this step.

Once filed with the court, your divorce is officially underway and you should expect notifications from the court regarding next steps. This is a serious, formal matter and it is important to stay organized, keep track of deadlines and the next required steps. Engaging with legal counsel can help ensure that you do not miss anything important.

Additional Considerations

As you continue to navigate through your divorce, you should expect several issues to arise at various times. Many divorces deal with (potentially) sensitive matters such as child custody, child and spousal support, and property division.

Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support: It is vitally important to prioritize the best interests of the children in divorce cases. The best interests of the children will certainly be the court’s main focus. The court will consider factors such as children’s ages, the relationship they maintain with each parent, and the parents’ general ability to provide for the needs of the child. Questions surrounding spousal support may also come up since it is important that each parent’s financial needs are met so they may both provide for the children.

Property Division: California is a community property state, which is a topic in which you should become well-versed early in the divorce process. This means that any assets or debts that were acquired during the marriage will be split equally. However, complications or exceptions can lead to complex divisions, particularly in high-asset divorces. Seeking legal guidance can help to ensure that you approach this step with the support and guidance you need.

Seeking Legal Advice and Mediation Services

In cases where disputes arise during the divorce process, mediation can be a valuable tool. In mediation, a neutral third-party facilitator helps the couple resolve issues and find solutions to questions on issues such as child custody and property division.

Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

The esteemed San Francisco divorce lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young can negotiate on your behalf, and diligently ensure that your best interests are protected. Contact our office today to see how our team can help you successfully navigate the divorce process.




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